Learning a new language is almost de rigueur today, as globalization demands multilingual language skills. Language learning is a chance to expand business activities, find new opportunities for employment and to improve one's intellectual capability.
Today, learners have more options for learning foreign languages. Some people prefer to learn formally by attending classes. Others use digital means, like using videos supplemented by books. For people with busy schedules who want to acquire new skills, downloading and using a language app becomes an effective option. Using a language app provides them a portable way to learn. They are able to include language learning into their schedule as they can learn anytime, anywhere, despite the challenges learning a foreign language presents.
In 2015, the market for digital learning of the English language alone around the world was worth about US$ 2.8 billion. By 2020, the projection is that it will climb up to US$ 3.8 billion. This means that there is the possibility to have a source of good income from creating a language app.
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Things to consider when building a language app
While building a language learning app may be easy for some developers, making a success out of the app includes careful planning and attention to details. It is vital to provide support to the skills that contribute to mastering a new language. These skills are speaking, listening, writing and reading.
1. Facility to acquire new vocabulary
It is essential for a language learning app to have easy-to-use tools enabling learners to memorize words easily. The app should provide a wide variety of exercises that will help learners engage in learning new words faster without too much effort.
2. Support for listening activity
A good language app should be able to train its users on how to effectively learn speech patterns through listening workouts. You should offer various audio tracks and short videos of speakers talking in their native language and provide specific exercises based on what they have learned.
3. Support for checking pronunciation
Tools for app development are quite advanced, so provide tools that can help the learners check their pronunciation. Consider including a speech recognition tool to help language learners. Including audio clips and dialogues from native speakers will allow the users to check and improve their pronunciation.
4. Support for practicing the language
Include a tool enabling users to build a community that will allow them to connect, chat and share what they have learned through the app. It will be better if the user is able to connect with native speakers anywhere in the world, like building their own language group in order to share information about the language and their learning progress. Connecting with native speakers live and learning from them is an effective way to learn a language faster.
5. Support for reminders
It is easy to put off studying especially if the learners are doing it on their own. Eventually, the learners might abandon the study, especially if there is no motivation. In developing a language app, remember to include a reminder that will remind the app users to practice every day so they can be motivated. A daily reminder guides users to set their learning goals and track their progress through the completion of daily tasks in order to reach their objective.
Users are more likely to continue studying if they are motivated. Even if they are excited about learning a new language, if they are not captivated by the app, they are likely to lose interest after some time.
The app developer can employ several techniques to catch the interest of users continuously.
- Gamification. Most students, including those attending formal classes, often lose interest because of long and repetitive explanations and routine exercises. Employ gamification to keep users from getting bored. Turning lessons and exercises into games will keep users engaged.
- Competition. Because you are turning the lessons and exercises into games, consider adding a competitive factor into the language learning app. Most app users are used to playing mobile games, comparing their skills with other gamers. So you will keep users motivated by tracking their progress and having a board showing learners who complete their lessons regularly.
- Encouragement. You cannot expect learners to ace their lessons all the time. There will be times when they make mistakes. It is vital to keep them motivated, therefore giving them encouragement as well as tips will keep them interested to continue their lessons.
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6. User guide
It is essential that your users fully understand how to navigate and use your app. The app should be rich in features that will guide your users in navigating the app as well as information and tips as the user goes through the lessons.
Help the users by making it easier for them to find information about the course, know their level, track their progress and additional information to understand how the learning app works.
Secondly, offering a personal tutor is beneficial. If a learner is stuck in any part of the lesson, having a virtual tutor that provides detailed information and tips on how to complete that lesson will greatly help the learner. It will motivate the user to move through the lesson instead of abandoning it.
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Developing a language learning app is complex and lengthy. It needs to have all the right features that will keep the users interested and make their experience as exciting and effortless as possible. Find excellent language teachers who are native speakers to plan the lessons. Include appropriate learning resources and engaging and dynamic visuals. Ensure that your app has a user feedback feature as well.
This is a guest post by Ronnie Avelino. Ronnie is the Alliance Manager of Day Translations, a global translation and app localization services company. He has been working online for almost 10 years. When he is not working, he likes to spend his time with his family and 2 kids.